Lower Body BBB Advice? Sumo Deads/Front Squats, No Back Squats

Hi Jim,

I’ve read you Beyond 5/3/1 book and loved it, it’s a great tool with so much possible variations. I ended up choosing BBB for now. I have a few questions about structuring the workout. I am clear with the upper days, as Day 1 is Bench as per normal 5/3/1, Ohp 5*10, and supersetted with some pullups and facepulls. Day 3 is the exact opposite, supersetted with rows and side and rear raises. I removed anything else then the main lifts as assistance asides from back work and raises, so no shrugs,flyes, db presses etc. I think it would be too taxing and not allow to run BBB properly.

My problem is with lower body. I pull sumo and can only front squat, no back squat. A year ago I injured a disc, came back from it and pulled 175 kg at 96 kg bw beltless which is pretty close to 2bw, hope to pass that limit soon. My front squat on the other hand is shit. I’ve done 100kg 4*2, and I estimate 1rm around 112-115. My questions, are the following, how would you schedule the lower days?

I thought of something along the lines of Day 1 Deadlift 5/3/1, followed by for example 510 on BB hypers (my go-to back exercise which helped me rehab my lower back). Day 2 would be front squats, which brings me to another question. Is it possible to do for example 3/3/3, 2/2/2, 3/2/1 on FS? My upper back tires and limits me from progressing due to the nature of the exercise. Follow this with some pause sets for example, or 510?

I would welcome on some suggestions on how to structure the lower body. Compound lower movements I’m able to do are Sumo DL, Front squat, Zercher squat, Bb hypers, Nordic ham curl, Bulgarian split squat, and maybe DL from blocks as this way I can keep a flat lumbar.

Cheers, Alex

Here is my front squat day

FS 5/3/1 then FSL (so 2 AMRAP sets of front squats for the day)
Hanging leg raises (superset with FS)
Calf raises in-between some of the above if I need a slightly longer break

I’m not sure exactly what your question is on the FS reps, if your asking can you do sets of 3 reps because you can’t physically do more than that, lower the weight so you can do more than that, if its just an empty bar then do that.

Hey mate thank you for your answer! My problem is I can hit 42 with 100 kg easier then 33 for example, due to upper back fatigue. I’ve done sets of 8 and 10+ many times, because they suck a lot and I love pushing the limits!

So yeah that was my main question, can I use less reps for FS or keep it 5/3/1 (Which limit the weight to upper back strength and not quad/glute strength).

Also another question, how much general assistance exercises per day are acceptable outside the 5/3/1 + 510? As well, if I understood correctly, bench 510 has to be done after normal bench and not swap with OHP right?

How many reps can you front squat with 80kg? I’m still confused on what your asking, you want to do 3/3/3 for front squat then “pause sets” for 5x10? Your limiting to 3 reps or less because your back fatigues but then you can do 5 sets of 10 somehow?

Most people swap the lifts so you can do Bench 53/1 followed by 5x10 on OHP. You can also do something like incline or dumbbells but keep it simple. People ask too many questions on what can be done so its easier to just say “do barbell bench press followed by barbell overhead press” or vise versa. If the program said you can do bench followed by X, Y or Z people would ask what about A, B…V, W.

Yeah I get what you mean. Thank you for the clarification about upper body, I will do exactly that. I did 80 for sets of easy 8 reps last week. There is absolutely no way I could do 510 paused with 80 hahhaha!
I meant to ask if I can pause fs instead of the 5
10 but now I realize it’s stupid. I might as well do 5*10 everywhere.

How could I structure it though? Day A Front squat 5/3/1 followed by BB hypers 510, and day B DL 5/3/1 followed by FS 510?

Instead of doing 5x5/3/1 do only sets of 2-3 reps and do around 10 sets. So it would be similar to 2/3’s PRO but with same volume as 5x5/3/1. I’d also be careful of the volume when you start and start basing it on upper back fatigue.

Also, no supplemental after this; just as with 5x5/3/1.

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Hey Jim thank your for answering.

I will do as you said, great advice. If I understand correctly, Squat day will be:
Week 1: 33 with 65%, 33 with 75%, 33 with 85%
Week 2: 3
3 with 70%, 33 with 80%, 33 with 90%
Week 3: 33 with 75%, 32 with 85 %, 3*2 with 95% + one heavy single at 105-110 percent ?

I think this allows for a decent amount of volume whitout tiring the upper back too much. And no supplemental you mean no 5*10?

This looks very good. I also F Squat and Sumo Deadlift and dread the PR cycles for the former (5s PRO is usually okay). Going to try Jim’s suggestion next.


You do all sets at top % - this isn’t the “6x5 5/3/1 Program” which has been written about many times.

Ohhhh I understand, so week 1 103 at 85%, week two 103 @ 90%, and week 3 for example 10*2 @95%? Makes a lot of sense!

Hey Jim

Can you help. Coming off Starting Strength now and moving onto 531. Im thinking of running BBB less boring template but with the 5x5 @ 80% assistance. Does this seem like a good move.
Im 36 5 10 200lbs and around 25%+ bf. Not concerned with having abs (obv) but id like to reign in the bf a little but main goal is to keep strength driving up. Lifts still have a long way to go squat 120kg x 5, deadlift 150kg x 5, bench 85kg x 5, press 50kg x5.


5’s PRO/BBB @ FSL for 2 cycles
PR Sets/5x5 @ FSL for 1 cycle

Assistance as per the Forever book guidelines. Get fucking big and get strong. Also eat meat.

Thanks for the reply.

Im getting in roughly 200g protein per day from a variety of beef, chicken, eggs, tuna, & whey so i think im on the right track with that.

Let the hard work commence. Thanks for your advice.


Looking over your above recomendation of 5’s pro / BBB @ FSL for 2 cycles. So on week 3 im working at almost training max but for 5reps instead of the initial 1+. Is this correct? And do i increase TM still as per cycle too? E.g Press workout my first working set after the 3 warm ups is 35kg x 5 so would the BBB FSL sets be 5x10 @ 35kg? Also does that mean the BBB FSL weights increase each week with the work set percentage?
Week 1 press first work set 35kg/BBB FSL 35kg
Week 2 press first work set 37.5kg/BBB FSL 37.5kg
Week 3 press first work set 40kg/BBB FSL 40kg

Sorry its long winded. Not yet worked with the 5’s pro.

That looks correct, the 5s pro is 5 reps on week 3 for the 1+ set, by being able to do 5 reps it means the FSL on all 3 weeks should be a manageable weight for the high reps your doing. FSL is at least 20% less than what you can do for 5 reps. TM increases per cycle as normal, if you notice that is only a 3 cycle program so weights only go up twice and you re-evaluate everything when its over, so if you repeat this for a year or something your lower body TM wouldn’t increase by 100lb or anything crazy. On bench press if you could increase the weight you do for 5 sets of 10 by even 20lb in a year that is pretty good, its 1000lb of volume per workout on just 1 lift.

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Thanks for that. I’ll get cracking with it.

Yeah man 5s Pro is five reps for every 531 set. You should be able to do 5 strong reps with your TM., so none of those sets should be a problem.

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How are the deloads programmed into this set-up? Deload on the fourth week? Ive read that deloads have since been moved to once per two cycles?

Hey Jim

If i transition from SS to 5’s Pro / BBB / 5x5 will strength still progress well in the big four lifts only performing them once per week as appose to two to three times on SS

Sure - don’t believe the dogma being sold by the tired and weak.

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